Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 15, 2016


I can´t describe my feelings right now as I type this.. and it´s even harder when I have to write them.
I´m sitting here on a plastic lawn chair inside an internet cafe watching the people walk by outside in a country that was completely new and foreign to me 18 months ago. It now feels like home to me.. and the smells, people, streets, houses.. are all familiar to me. And in one week I will leave this all behind. My feeling are definitely mixed. I was thinking this week.. I think of one the reasons that it is so hard to even think about leaving this place is because I have given my heart and soul to this place and more importantly these people. as cliche as it sounds.. it´s true. whenever you give your heart to anything.. a sport, a school project, a person, work.. it´s hard to leave it. And I think that´s why it feels so hard to me right now. 

But if there is one thing that I have learned on my mission is that God has our complete and best interest in mind, and the only way for us to grow, is by taking us out of our comfort zone and sticking us in a place where our comforts are stretched. And once we feel comfortable there.. he takes us out again. It´s part of the plan.. and when we get changed.. and he gives us opportunities to grow and become more like him.. we can do it with a frown and bitterness in our hearts.. or we can do it with a good attitude, trusting in him, and knowing that all things will work together for our good. 

It´s also very weird.... time. I have talked about time a lot throughout my mission.. but it´s just the most surreal thing to me. I can still remember how it felt and what I was wearing and what I saw exactly the day I entered in the MTC.. and it feels like it could have been yesterday. SO WEIRD. 
Just some of the thoughts that I feel right now.
Anywayssss. this week. Some highlights:

-We started the week off doing divisions with our hermana leaders.. who´s area is about 5 hours away in bus.. so we travelled there on Tuesday and we did divisions with them on Wednesday. And the funnest part was.. is that I got to be with Hermana Johnson!!! Who was with me in the MTC in my district. It was the first time that I have gotten to work with her on my mission.. and to think about really how far we have come. It was a fun day full of the spirit working with her in her area. :)

-we are teaching a lady named Karina.. and although she is 31.. it truly is like teaching a 5 year old. She never had a formal education. Never went to school or church.. and has only heard about God from other people.. but has never been taught anything. She cannot read.. and her comprehension is VERY low and slow. So this week when we taught he we just taught God is our loving Heavenly Father and who is Jesus Christ. As we explained and re-explained who they are.. the spirit gently touched me at the truthfulness of what we were teaching. It was the most simple and basic doctrine to the church.. but some of the most important. I am so grateful of the knowledge of our loving Heavenly Father and his plan for us.. which is centered in his son Jesus Christ. I am also grateful for the Holy Ghost who testifies of all things. As we learn from Peter who recieved his witness of Christ because God revealed it to him through the Holy Ghost and not because he was physically with Christ and physically SAW the miracles he performed... "evidence" is not how we gain testimony.. but only through the Spirit. Laman and Lemuel saw miracle after miracle.. even angels.. but because they never allowed the spirit to enter into their hearts.. they were never converted. 

-Something funny that happened... we were at the house of a member.. and we are teaching her dad who isn´t a member.. and we were sitting outside.. and the her neighbor infront of her house starts raking all of the grass that was just recently cut into piles. So we hopped right up and decided to help!! So there we are just raking away.. and she starts setting fire to the piles of already raked (I don´t know if that´s how you spell it) grass. As is very common here in Paraguay... they burn everything.. garbage, grass and weeds, their extra food, or their dead dog.. you name it and they burn it. Just right infront of their house in the road basically. So this lady´s yard is basically a war zone..and we quickly finished raking. we were enveloped in smoke.. and showed up to the baptism that the branch had that night just smelling lovely..... (like smokers). hahah.. it was awesome.. and fun to explain to all those at the baptism that we had NOT recently just smoked a pack each. :) see picture below of the after effects...

I hope you all have an amazing week... and THANK YOU for all your support, love, and words that have helped me through my mission.

I don´t know how powerful my testimony is through email.. but I just love this gospel. I love my Savior and your Savior.. Jesus Christ. I know he lives. He loves us, and stands with our Father in Heaven, waiting for our return. I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true and it truly testifies of our Savior. He sustains and loves us and walks with us in times of trial.

I love you all.. and I WILL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK. :)

peace and blessings.
Hermana Ehlert
ps... next week I don´t think I will have the chance to write... so you don´t need to bother sending anything. :) 

the lady´s yard that I described in the story above. The after effects.
lunch with a member this week. it´s called bori bori.
cute little alison that got baptised :)
today we went to the beach to play volleyball with the district.. and of course.. had to snatch that cheesy .
playing volleyball today... I´m the one serving.. rocking the zone jersey´s that we made.

name tag pic with Posadas in the background. :)
love this place

Monday, August 8, 2016

August 8, 2016

hooollaaaa :)
wow.. weeks are passing SO fast I can't even believe it. 
I can't believe it's Monday again.. crazy. 

I learned this week as I was reading the new testament that our faith affects others. explanation: when the 4 friends carry the man with palsy to Christ to be healed and they lower him through the roof.. and Christ forgives the sins of the man and heals him because "he saw THEIR faith". The scriptures don't say anything about the faith of the man who actually had the palsy. I loved that.

I saw that this week as we were went out with full faith everyday.. and this week was BETTER. We were able to find families and prepared people who wanted to listen to us. We were able to help the members share the gospel and invite their friends to church and activities. I worked harder than ever at being fearless. 

At one point this week we started talking with two ladies and they invited us to sit down with them infront of their house.. as soon as we went to sit down.. the three teenager boys that were there left and sat on the other side of the house.. but still within sight. as we sat down and started talking with the two ladies.. I knew I had to invite those three boys to come sit with us and listen to our message. as the conversation kept going one of the ladies asked about baptism and as we opened up the book of mormon to respond to her doubt.. the impression was overwhelming. I felt dumb though.. they had specifically gotten up and moved when we came to sit down.. but I opened my mouth anyway.. expecting a "no".. or them to laugh and turn their music up louder... but to my surprise.. all three of them immediately grabbed their chairs and came to sit with us. and before we knew it there is a group of 6 sitting with us.. passing a book of mormon around the circle to read verses in 3 nefi about when christ comes to the americas and teaches the doctrine of baptism. so awesome. we left happy and full of the spirit. 

I realized that many impressions or promptings that we recieve from the Lord may be uncomfortable or difficult to do.. but when we move forward with faith in him .. willing to do what he asks.. he blesses us. 
one of the those boys that we asked to come sit down with us.. is the son of the less active and we didn't even know until we were about to leave and asked his last name. 

ROHAYHU ser misionera.


Hermana Ehlert

A pineapple growing behind a members house!!!! did you know they grow like that?!?!

A GIANT TREE in our area. isn't it cool?!?

Another giant treee... obviously. like the branch is HUGE.
my area. the other side of the river is Posadas argentina... so beautiful.

today we went to some ruins close my area.. they were super cool actually. giant.

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1, 2016

Hi cute family :)

This week was a little brighter than the last weeks. To be honest.. it was still hard.. and we are just talking to EVERYONE. I don't think there has been a time in my mission where I am talking to more people during the day. 
So a few weeks ago.. before I got to the area.. all of the missionaries in the district came to our area and contacted for the day.. and then passed us the references. Well.. one of these references is named Nelly. The elder's found her during this day of contacting.. and we were finally able to find her. She is soooo coool. She just has all the right questions.. and all the right confusion for us to be able to help her along in her journey in finding light and truth in her life. Her husband a few years ago got in a motorcycle accident.. and is not in a wheelchair and paralyzed from the waste down. She is the only one that works in her family of 3 little kids.. going from door to door selling bingo. And the coolest part is.. she only lives a block away from the church!! So cool. 
We continued exploring in our area.. and finding new places to go. 

I have been thinking a lot about fear.. and how when we have fear we cannot be effective missionaries. man.... I wish SO BAD that I would have learned this concept at the beginning of my mission. I am weak.. and am easily intimidated by others.. and it has actually been a challenge sometimes for me to get over it. I don't want to offend anyone.. which sometimes leads me to not declaring boldly this glorious message. So this week I worked specifically on overcoming fear... and ironically.. we encountered many situations that intimidated me or made me shrink back.. but as I worked on declaring the message of the restoration.. I felt the rush of the spirit backing me up. many times it required a lot of faith for me to stand up for what we are doing.. but when we excercise faith.. he blesses us. You'd think that a missionary with my time would have figured it out by now.. but oh well right? sorry... i feel like I can't express myself how I want to. It all just makes much more sense in spanish.

We also found an awesome brazilian woman named Teresa. She watched us from the door of her little house as we walked by. I felt like we should talk to her when we made eye contact.. but we were already late for our appointment.. and when we had already passed her house, I decided to turn around. We approached her.. and in her thick brazilian accent told us that she was hoping we would talk to her. We were able to chat for a little bit.. and remembering the challenge to handout a book of mormon in the street everyday from our leaders.. we marked a section for her invited her to read. she said "I will happily read .. and when are you coming back to keep teaching me?" It was definitely a happy moment of the day. 

not much this week. 

feliz and fearless is the theme for the week. :)

hermana ehlert

Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25, 2016

hey sweet fam :)

I hope you had the best week.

To be honest.. this week was another tough one. We went in full force.. and things just didn´t turn out how we were hoping. We ended up having a few days where we didn´t have a single lesson. We have been contacting like crazy. We got out the map to the area.. and prayed and tried to concentrate our efforts where we felt we needed to be. We started going into areas where they hadn´t worked before last transfer and we only kind of got lost. :)

Hermana Caballero is a trooper.. and always has a smile. She is just so humble.. and loves talking to people. I have learned a lot from her. She see´s everyone as someone who has potential.. where as sometimes I will automatically rule someone out just from appearance at first look.

We did a lot of walking and a LOT of talking to people. No one really let us in, in the moment.. but we think that we met a few people that we will be able to go back and visit another time. We are excited to start this week and try again. 

The thing is.. even though this week was harder.. and we didn´t see a lot of success and I felt really tired emotionally and physically.. I never really felt discouraged. I felt sustained and at peace. I felt the assurance that only comes when we are in the service of our God. We just kept telling ourselves that the next person we talked to would be baptized. We tried to picture them in white and in the temple.. or tried to see them as God see´s them. It helped us have a lot more charity.. and remember truly why we are here. 

I´m grateful for this area.. and for the Lord´s trust in me to take care of this part of His vineyard. 
Sorry.. short this week. Hopefully next week I´ll have more exciting things to report about. 

Hna E

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 18, 2016

hola mba'echaipa che familia :)

(guarani... I'm TOTALLY (not) learning how to speak guarani!!!!!!)... haha because guess what?! My new companion is from PARAGUAY!! WHAT?! So coool. Her name is Hermana Caballero and she was born here in Paraguay but when she was 12 years old she moved to Argentina, Buenos Aires. So she grew up listening and only speaking Guarani. She learned how to speak spanish in school. But she totally has a Buenos Aires accent. It's super funny.. because she speaks spanish like she's from Argentina.. but then switches to Guarani like a total paraguayan. It's awesome. Her family converted to the church when she was 14. She grew up in a family of 10 kids... really really poor from what I can gather. She doesn't open up easy at all about her personal life.. so it's kind of hard to know.. but from what I gathered she had a hard childhood. She told me that she wants 2 kids only because she wants to give them opportunities that she never had.. and make sure that they are able to get a good education and stuff. When she was 15 she dropped out of school so that she could work. She started working like a crazzyyyy person. monday through saturday. She would wake up at 4 in the morning to be able to take the bus by 5 and then usually return home by 7 at night. Her and her dad were the only ones working in their entire family.. and when she would get paid.. she gave everything to her mom. she has 4 older siblings.. and 5 younger. And the first missionary in her family. She is incredible.. and has the strongest testimony. I admire her.. and feel SO humbled to be her comp. 

 It can be hard because we meet and talk with lots of people that speak Spanish and Guarani.. but the second they find out she is from Paraguay and can speak Guarani.. they switch to Guarani and then won't switch back to Spanish... which leaves me pretty lost in the conversation. It kind of reminds me when I was at the beginning of my mission.. when I would be totally lost in easy conversations. But it's also super useful too.. because it immediately opens our teaching pool to MANY more people who normally we wouldn't be able to teach if we didn't speak Guarani.. so that's really cool too. We have a family that we are teaching that only speak Guarani.. so I basically just nod and testify of what my comp says... hahah just like at the beginning of my mission. it's definitely an adventure. But we get along super well.. she is darling.. and dedicated and has that fire and drive that all new missionaries have. I have a lot to learn from her. I know it. AND.. she's shorter than me! Can you believe it?! It's awesome to have a short comp again :)

butttt.. if I'm being totally honest.. it was kind of a harder week this week. I don't know how to explain it.. but on the mission you totally get "home sick" for your old areas.. well atleast I do. I was SO "homesick" for Minga this week. I just missed it. I missed how I would feel walking around those streets... and I miss the members.. and the leaders there.. and I miss my comp. It has been kind of a hard adjustment. It's also hard.. when missionaries in the past have established bad habits with members. Like missionaries here in the past have spent LOTS of time in members houses and just hanging out basically.. so then all the sudden I get here.. and don't want to spend lots of time just "hanging out with members".. I'm all of the sudden the strict and "not fun missionary". So there was a little bit of that this week too. 

There was a really cool thing though that happened on Friday. The branch I am in doesn't belong to a stake.. instead it's called a district. And this weekend they had district youth conference.. so on Friday morning.. all the missionaries in the district were invited to come. We did a "mini MTC" with the youth and then we went out and contacted in the streets and in the plazas for about an hour. Two young women came with me and it was SO fun. They were so happy and excited after we would talk to someone.. and it reminded me a lot of how I was at the beginning of my mission. It was a really cool eye opener. 

As I pondered on things this week.. I realized that change brings progress. Something that I heard in the MTC is that "little growth occurs in your comfort zone, and little comfort occurs in your growth zone".. I have had that on a sticky note since the MTC and look at it every day. And how true that is. I learned that this week as I was forced onto my knees to plead for the help, guidance, and comfort of His spirit. A scripture I found this morning.. "He comprendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and through all things, and is round about all things' and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever." Somehow.. all things will work together for our good. I don't know how it works yet.. I haven't gotten that far.. but it will all work out. As Paul wrote to the corinthians.. "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him". One day all things will work out for our good.
I love you all so much.
Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. (praise to the man)

Hermana Ehlert

saying bye to members in Minga.. :(
saying bye to members in Minga.. :(
me and Johana :)
the youth in youth conference.
that is hermana caballero studying this morning.. it´s a LITTLE cold in our pension.... hahaha.
Sister in Minga

Monday, July 11, 2016 we go again

This week was BY FAR my favorite week in Minga.. and maybe one of the fastest too! so SO fast. Can´t believe it. 

So first of all... transfers. AH. Can you believe that it's time for transfers already? I definitely can't. wow. 
SO... I will be leaving Minga Guazu.. and Hermana Cannon. I'm going to a city called Encarnacion that is about 6 hours away from here by bus.. and I will be training again! ah.. crazy right? But it will be aweeesssommme :) So that's exciting. But goodness... I know that I say this every time I leave an area.. but it just get's harder and harder to leave. I LOVE this area. I am SO sooo sad to be leaving. I really thought that I was going to be able to stay for my last transfer. But I guess the Lord has other plans and I am needed somewhere else in His vineyard. I leave tomorrow night to go meet my hija... :) YAY. Just another adventure.. and as president LaPierre says.. "just enjoy the ride hermana". So that I will try to do. But I WILL MISSSSSS HERMANA cannon. so so much. love this girl. 
So as I said before.. it was just the greatest week. We had miracle after miracle.. and after being here in this area for 4 1/2 months.. we were really able to start seeing some of the fruits of our efforts. Like miracles just started dropping from the skies.... and so did golden investigators. 

The first.. there is a partial member family that used to be less active.. but they are now they are totally active.. and they have an 11 year old daughter that isn't baptized yet.. so we got to start teaching her and preparing her for baptism. She is SUPER shy.. and mostly speaks Guarani.. but accepted a date to be baptized at the end of this month. yayayayy.

Then.. there is a guy named Ruben. He is 17.. and he has come to church 4 times now with his friends that are in young mens. But the thing is.. in the past weeks... we would see him and we just thought he was another member.. so we never really talked to him. Well.. last week after church.. we told our branch president that he wants to be baptized.... and we were like whatttt?! You aren't a member?! So we were able to start teaching him this week too.. and HE IS AWESOME. He also speaks LOTS of Guarani.. so the language barrier is a little tough if we don't have a member in the lesson to help us out... BUT HE IS SO COOL.. and also accepted a date to be baptized at the end of this month. 

Last night we had an amazing lesson with a less active family with our branch mission leader and our elders quorum president, and basically we just sat back and watched as the spirit worked through these to members to help this less active family. Because the church is so new in this part of the world.. I have seen VERY few times a really well functioning branch, with members that actually want to go out and work.. and to just be able to see how much better missionary work with members are was a really cool experience. What they did for this family spiritually in ONE lesson, we would have MAYBE been able to accomplish in 2 months of visiting them every week. Like it's amazing how much more effective missionary work is when we are doing it with members. 
Then the week ended on Saturday with an activity that we planned. we basically tried to invite the WHOLE WORLD... and we had 7 investigators show up!!! IT WAS AWESOME. also lots of members came and we watched Meet the Mormons and then ate treats after.. and it was just amazzzinnngggg. It was so awesome. 

So what I learned this week... I was learning about the apostles and Peter especially. I just love Peter. He is so impulsive.. and just runs on his emotions it seems like.. but anyways. I was thinking why would Christ call these apostles.. because many of them were probably not the most qualified according to smartness.. or knowledge.. and I was also thinking.. Christ is a God.. and could have done all the work himself. I was then thinking about me as a missionary.. why would he call me.. after all.. I am just an "unprofitable servant"... he could just come down and do all this work and probably convert many more people.. and do it all much more efficiently.. and never get sick.. and just be perfect.. and the work would just get done all a lot quicker. RIGHT?! well.. kinda. It would. But as I thought about when Christ came to the Americas and asks all the people to BRING the sick to him. I never really payed attention to the middle man here. The sick couldn't bring themselves. Then I was thinking why would Christ command that people help him. Well.. he calls and commands the apostles of old... the nephites in the americas.. and us in these very times so that we can learn. He is deligating Godlike responsibilities to us. He is sharing what he does.. and when we do the work of God.. we become more like Him. When he calls us.. and we willingly serve him.. he is giving us the opportunity to become more like Him.. and to share the joy and happiness and peace that only comes when we are working for the salvation of souls. Isn't that cool? (I hope that made sense)

I feel grateful for the opportunity to serve.. and to change.. and to become more like him. Even though I am slow.. and sick sometimes.. and lazy sometimes.. and just basically unprofitable. I am grateful for his endless love and patience that he had with Peter, and with me. 

I love being his hands. 

Have the greatest and happiest week.
Hermana Ehlert

1. the district.... and I lost a leg apparently
2. my comp crossing a bridge while we did divisions... I don't have a picture of me.. but like the most sketchy bridge ever right?! haha.. but just part of the adventure. :)
3. stairs and my cute comp :)
4. some of the people in the activity!!!!!! 
5. hermanas de Minga :)
6. us an hour branch mission leader who is THE BOMB 
7. empanada feast today 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July

This week could not have been faster. so so fasssst.
BUT HEY. quick highlight of the week.

Wednesday I was able to do divisions with the mission nurse.. Hermana Wanlass.. and it was just a BLAST. She came to my area.. and we just saw miracle after miracle. She is seriously awesome. I respect and love her so much. 

Friday we met our new mission president! His name is Presidente Svec and he is from Chile. It was really sad to see Pte LaPierre go.. but it was his time. We met him and his wife and they are just AWESOME. Like seriously. Complete opposites of Hermana and Presidente LaPierre. I feel sad that I won't have more time than I do to work with him and get to know him. His wife is amazing too. They are just loud and talkative and friendly and "get it done" kind of people. It's awesome. And they are just hitting the ground running. :) It's a really cool time to be apart of the Argentina Posadas Mission.. and to see it's progress and growth. A quote from presidente Svec... (I can't translate it exactly.. I don't know how.. but something like this) "When you feel like you can't do something, take it out of your mind, and practice, and the Lord will do the rest". I've thought about that a lot this week. Our ability to DO, starts with our mind. 

Something Hermana Cannon and I are trying to do is "keep our line in the water" from the moment that we walk out the door. We don't want to be like the fisherman who has gone fishing and is away from his house for 12 hours of the day.. but only has his like in for 2 hours. We want to be like the fisherman who goes fishing and has his line in for as much time as possible. What that means is that ALWAYS, and ALL TIMES, we are looking for opportunities to help, serve, and mostly share about the restored gospel of jesus christ and his love for us. We are trying to talk to more people.. buses, streets, buying things. We constantly have cards in our hands to give away.. because, we never know when the Lord is preparing to put someone in our path. And if we aren't looking and opening our mouths.. we could completely miss a prepared person and opportunity. We have to do our part.

Paraguayan observation of the week: it's a really good thing that paraguayans are generally round and soft people.. because if they were sharp and bony, the bus rides where we are literally crammmmmmed in, would be reaaaallllyyy uncomfortable. ;)

Sixto.. the recent convert is doing well. He hasn't smoked since we had that lesson with him, and we visited an investigator with him this morning.. and really bore just one of the most powerful and simple testimonies about how christ changes us. Through his spirit, we are purified and cleansed, and changed, from natural men with fallen and worldly desires, to become more like our God and his son Jesus Christ. 

We also got the zone together and to celebrate fourth of july. We sang the national anthem and ate delicious hotdogs with ketchup and bbq sauce from the states and then played kickball and ate chocolate cake and ice cream. It was like a suuuper fun pday. hurrah for the united states. am I right?! pictures to come.

I love this work. I love my Savior. I know he loves, and offers peace to all those who come unto him. 

Hermana Ehlert

the cake my companion and I made. 'MERICA!

some of the zone :)